Jean-Marie Zeitouni exceeded expectations musically and technically, though he seemed a bit nervous at the beginning of the Rossini Semiramide Overture, barely waiting for the orchestra to sit down after bowing before beginning the piece. The orchestra had not settled and was a bit thrown off. (I like the idea of beginning without hesitation. We just weren't expecting it.)
Our biggest enemy tonight was the dry acoustics of the Palace Theater. Without a shell on stage, and with the narrow proscenium, we could barely hear each other across the stage, and there was almost no feedback from the hall, especially with an audience in it to soak up even more sound. (some of you may remember we got panned after a performance of Bernstein's Suite from West Side Story in the Palace)
It's too bad Columbus has yet to hear their great orchestra in a great hall. (except those who traveled to NY to hear us in Carnegie!) I know I have said this before, but hearing a great orchestra play in a bad hall is like hearing a great CD on a cheap stereo. It just doesn't do it justice!
Our soloist tonight, Rachel Barton Pine, in her first performance in Columbus, took my breath away with her bravura style and spontaneous musicality. She kept Zeitouni busy following her in the Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 2. But he didn't flinch.
I didn't play the Mozart Jupiter Symphony, so I don't know how it went. I may stay tomorrow and hear it, just to see what Zeitouni does with it.
I hope we get to work with Maestro Zeitouni again. I like the fresh vigor he brings to the music.